Our Mother, Our Nana, the diary of Aranka Eckstein (unpublished, 2004)

Aranka Eckstein’s daughters engaged Ian Grinblat to edit the translation of her diary, written in German, during the period between her sixteenth birthday in February 1933 until her second marriage in February 1948. The work, intended only for the family, was not published.

The diary is a valuable artefact from a brief dreamlike period in which the Jews of Central Europe had finally achieved political equality and were committed to participating in general European society apparently blind to the “monocultural” nationalism of the modern nations which had emerged from the ruins of the German, Austrian and Russian Empires. The idyll was brought to a sudden and bloody end when the rise of Nazism in Germany facilitated the murder of six million European Jews.